Monographs Details: Siparuna ficoides Renner & Hausner
Authority: Renner, Susanne S. & Hausner, Gerlinde. 2005. Siparunaceae. Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 95: 1--247 pp. (Published by NYBG Press)
Family:Monimiaceae
Description:Species Description - Monoecious subcanopy tree, 13-20 m tall, with a dbh of 10-11 cm, the trunk straight, the slash wound light tan or yellowish and strongly lemon-scented; young branchlets terete or flattened at the nodes, glabrous. Leaves opposite; petioles 1-2.2 cm long; lamina drying light green, yellowish or grayish green, shiny, stiff-chartaceous to coriaceous, obovate or elliptic, 9-15 X 4.4-8.8 cm, the base obtuse and shortly attenuate, the apex obtuse, acuminate, truncate, or emarginate, mature leaves glabrous except for very few peltate or stellate-lepidote hairs on the lower leaf surface or on the midrib; with 912 pairs of secondary veins, these flat above, slightly raised below, anastomosing near the leaf margin, the tertiary veins irregularly reticulate and loosely spaced (Fig. 24-1.A; also Novon 15: 202205, Figs 1 & 2 [2005]), the margin entire. Cymes in the axils of extant leaves or an leafless nodes, about 1.5 cm long, with 6-12 flowers, the peduncle 4-6 mm long, the pedicels of male flowers gradually elongating during anthesis and becoming up to 8 mm long, those of the female flowers and fruiting receptacles remaining short (Figs. 24-I.B, 24-I.C ); cymes persistently velvety. Fresh flowers green with a cream-colored center, dried golden-brownish; male flowers cup-shaped, 4-4.5 mm in diam., 3-3.5 mm high, the indumentum as on the cymes, the tepals reduced to a circular rim surrounding the flower center with its barely-developed tomentose floral roof (Fig. 24-Í.C), stamens 27-30, fleshy and with small anther flaps, dorsally with a few stellate hairs; female flowers subglobose, 4-5 mm in diam., 2.53.5 mm high, the tepals reduced to a circular rim around the flower center (Fig. 24-I.B); the floral roof conical and velvety; carpels ca. 8, the styles basally fused to a short column and hardly protruding from the floral roof, the free parts of the styles thin and easily detached. Fruiting receptacle subglobose, about 2 cm in diam. and 1.1 cm in height (Fig. 13-I.A), fresh greenish yellow and densely pubescent (Fig. 13-I.B), dried material persistently velvety brown-pubescent, the drupelets protruding (Figs. 13-1.A, 13-I.C), drupelets about 6, apparently lacking a sty lar aril.

Discussion:The Venezuelan Yekuana (or Yekuna) Indians refer to this species as medebadi and apply the leaves against snakebites (Briceño 427).

Siparuna ficoides resembles S. cristata with which it also overlaps in range. The two are easily distinguished by their fruits, with S. cristata having glabrous receptacles that at maturity are elongate in shape, reaching 3.5-4 cm in length, with a diam. of (l-)2-3.5 cm, and S. ficoides having velvety pubescent receptacles that at maturity are globose, not elongate, and smaller than those of S. cristata. In addition, the leaves of S. ficoides dry light green and are only 9-15 x 4.4-8.8 cm, whilst those of S. cristata dry dark brown and measure 18-27(-38) X (7-)9-14 cm. Yet another difference lies in the leaf venation: In S. cristata, the tertiary veins cross between adjacent secondaries in parallel paths without branching, while in S. ficoides they are irregularly anastomosing and loosely spaced (Fig. 24-I.A) compared to other species of Siparuna. (The leaf venation is particularly clear in the photo that accompanies the protologue [Renner and Hausner 2005].)

Several duplicates of S. ficoides were distributed as S. monogyna Jangoux, a name that we briefly thought might apply to the new entity, but after studying the type of S. monogyna it became clear that the name does not apply. Another monoecious species with velvety fruits is S. gentryana, occurring in Ecuador and Colombia. However, S. gentryana has tuberculate fruits, rather than smooth, subglobose ones, and dark brown leaves with a venation more like S. cristata.
Distribution:Bolívar Venezuela South America| Amazonas Brazil South America|